Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gates on Bush

"Gates reported Bush was not going to do a surprise attack but he worried the president, who was “very pro-Israel . . . might just decide to let the Israelis take care of the reactor.”

Three days later, Gates urged Bush to tell Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, “if Israel went forward on its own militarily, he would be putting Israel’s entire relationship with the United States at risk.” Bush talked to Olmert on July 13, who said the reactor “represented an existential threat to Israel [and] that it could not trust diplomacy to fix,” Gates said.

The next day, Bush said he was impressed with Olmert’s “steadfastness” and, according to Gates, was “unwilling to preempt the prime minister through a diplomatic initiative or even to put much pressure on him.” He also noted there were others, including Vice President Dick Cheney, who supported Israel doing whatever it wanted.

Writes Gates, “By not confronting Olmert, Bush effectively came down on Cheney’s side. By not giving the Israelis a red light, he gave them a green one” and on Sept. 6, 2007, the Israelis destroyed the reactor. "